Vivek Suri

Chris Moeckel ’20 had no intention of running for YCC president before a friend invited him to attend a YCC meeting last year. Disappointed with the lack of concrete steps taken by the student government, Moeckel launched his “Shake Up YCC” campaign to bring about change.

“This campaign is about actionable policies, policies that we can deliver, policies where we lay out specific steps and how we’re going to do it,” Moeckel explained. “So we’re not going to throw out huge, ambiguous answers. We’re going to tell you how we’re going to do something, and the steps we’re going to take to do it.”

Moeckel is running against Aadit Vyas ’20, Saloni Rao ’20, Azaria King ’20 and Shunhe Wang ’20 for the position of YCC president.

Moeckel, a history and political science major from Connecticut, planned his campaign with Remy Dhingra ’20, a vice presidential candidate. Together, Moeckel and Dhingra — neither of whom has previous experience with the YCC — created a platform with four major ideas they hope to begin implementing during their first 90 days in office.

The plan includes granting a printing stipend to each student, making mental health emergencies a valid reason for a dean’s excuse, improving the quality of coffee in dining halls and a plan to fundraise independently of Yale to reduce the Student Income Contribution.

“It’s pretty absurd and pretty abhorrent that the school still has the student income contribution,” Moeckel told the News. “We’ll give the University 30 days to iterate a clear plan for how they’re going to wind down the SIC, and if they continue to give the exact same answers they’ve been giving for the past two decades, then we’ll incorporate a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on day 31, and launch a capital campaign to raise the money ourselves. If the University is not going to have students’ backs on this, then we will.”

501(c)(3) organizations enjoy a special tax-exempt status.

In addition to implementing the four major changes, Moeckel also wants to “overhaul” the YCC, which he calls a “huge, bureaucratic mammoth.” Citing low voter turnout and uncontested representative elections as evidence that the organization is “broken,” Moeckel said he hopes to amend the YCC constitution to reduce the body’s size so that it truly represents students. He has proposed that students should elect one YCC senator to represent each college, rather than two representatives.

Moeckel’s desire to change the YCC also extends to modifying the the council’s relationship with students and the administration.

“My vision for the YCC is an activist body, one that always doesn’t condone what the University says,” Moeckel explained. “It’s primary purpose should not be to appease the administration, but to take on the administration when it has the students behind it.”

Although neither Moeckel nor his running mate Dhingra has experience in the YCC, Moeckel said he views this as an advantage, explaining that his “outsider” status eparates him from other candidates.

In his two years at Yale, Moeckel has worked as the chief financial officer of the Yale Layer, a student publication that focuses on mental health; competed on the Model United Nations team and served as a member of the Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Group and as chief of staff for Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19. Until recently, he was also a member of LEO.

Moeckel said he has decided to resign from all his other extracurricular commitments to focus on his campaign.

Anna Hope Emerson ’20, who worked with Moeckel at the Yale Layer, praised his time management and energy.

“Because of the time and energy Chris puts in, we have never once had an issue with funding, and have been able to put more resources in the project than anticipated,” Emerson said. “As YCC president, I think he would do an incredible job of not only tackling a breadth of issues that affect our community but also settling realistic goals and seeing them through.”

Jacob Malinowski ’20, who was on the Model UN team with Moeckel and also worked with him on the “Haci for Ward 1” campaign, applauded Moeckel’s concrete plans and his desire to increase student involvement with the YCC, describing his “accessibility and motivation” as unique.

Aakshi Chaba | aakshi.chaba@yale.edu